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Kind of Blue

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Gender: Female
Hometown: California
Member since: Fri Aug 29, 2008, 10:47 AM
Number of posts: 8,709

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Diagnosis: What if social media could save lives?

From The New York Times Column

Based on Dr. Lisa Sanders’ popular column in The New York Times Magazine, Diagnosis follows various patients on their respective journeys toward finding a diagnosis, and potentially a cure, for their mysterious illnesses. By combining the power of global crowdsourcing, social media, and established medical expertise, each case is untangled with illuminating new insights that had previously eluded doctors. From award-winning executive producers Scott Rudin, Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn, and in association with The New York Times, Diagnosis explores the life-changing impact of receiving a diagnosis for individuals who’ve been searching for answers, and the healing that comes with connecting with others who can empathize with their experiences. Only on Netflix August 16.

When W. E. B. Du Bois Made a Laughingstock of a White Supremacist

There are too many juicy excerpts in this amazing story writing by Ian Frazier. As Frazier travels from the present to the past, he covers so much relevant and intriguingly evil content of the era that has not gone away. IMO, it's a long read but well worth it.

In March, 1929, the Chicago Forum Council, a cultural organization that included white and black members, announced the presentation of “One of the Greatest Debates Ever Held.” According to the Forum’s advertisement, the debate was to take place on Sunday, March 17th, at 3 p.m., in a large hall on South Wabash Avenue. The topic was “Shall the Negro Be Encouraged to Seek Cultural Equality?”

The Forum Council did not oversell its claim. The Du Bois-Stoddard debate turned out to be a singular event, as important in its way as Lincoln-Douglas or Kennedy-Nixon. The reason more people don’t know about it may be its asymmetry. The other historic matchups featured rivals who disagreed politically but wouldn’t have disputed their opponent’s right to exist.

Stoddard had to have known that the audience would be mostly black. Home-field advantage would be with Du Bois. Why did Stoddard agree? Like any author with books to sell, he probably thought he could use the publicity. (He had two new ones, “The Story of Youth” and “Luck: Your Silent Partner.”) Also, Stoddard probably believed that he could overawe any audience of blacks. He had denied being a member of the Ku Klux Klan but endorsed its tactics passionately in his books. And, in 1926, he gave a lecture before two thousand at Tuskegee University, in Alabama, informing them that the Nordic race was superior to nonwhites and that, for the good of all races, the world must continue to be governed by white supremacy. A black newspaper reported that the students “sat awestricken during the address, which terminated without any applause.”

The defining moment of the debate occurs as Stoddard describes how bi-racialism will provide each race with its own public sphere. The Forum Council later printed the debate in a small book, which records the moment when Stoddard said:

The more enlightened men of southern white America . . . are doing their best to see that separation shall not mean discrimination; that if the Negroes have separate schools, they shall be good schools; that if they have separate train accommodations, they shall have good accommodations. [laughter]

There is just that one bracketed word, “laughter.” The transcription is being polite.

As the reporter for the Baltimore Afro-American put it: A good-natured burst of laughter from all parts of the hall interrupted Mr. Stoddard when, in explaining his bi-racial theory and attempting to show that it did not mean discrimination, said that under such a system there would be the same kind of schools for Negroes, but separate, the same kind of railway coaches, but separate. . . . When the laughter had subsided, Mr. Stoddard, in a manner of mixed humility and courage, claimed that he could not see the joke. This brought more gales of laughter.


Craptastic Poll

"A total of 1,001 adults were interviewed by telephone nationwide by live interviewers calling both landline and cell phones. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. Among the entire sample, 28% described themselves as Democrats, 26% described themselves as Republicans, and 46% described themselves as independents or members of another party."

For the subset of 402 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents who are registered to vote, it is +/- 6.1 percentage points.


Elizabeth Warren meets her lookalike at Minnesota rally

Stephanie Oyen is not Elizabeth Warren. But try telling that to a crowd of fans gathered to see the U.S. senator and 2020 presidential candidate at a town hall at Macalester College on Monday evening.

Oyen arrived at the rally wearing a blue blazer and clear glasses — her Elizabeth Warren costume from Halloween — as a lark. “I thought it would get some giggles,” said the Edina resident. “Then people started yelling, ‘Senator Warren!’ People were clapping and running up to me to take photos. I kept saying ‘I’m not her!’ but I looked up and hundreds of people were staring at me.”

“It got weird very fast,” said Oyen, whose short blond hair is nearly identical to Elizabeth Warren’s cropped cut. “I talk with my hands and shake my head, which only made me look more like Elizabeth Warren. I was saying ‘I’m not her!’ but I could have been saying ‘Medicare for all!’ ” Oyen says she eventually ditched the blue blazer and the glasses and “hid behind a tall guy” because she felt sorry for confusing people.

She put the blazer and glasses back on when she lined up with hundreds of supporters to take a selfie with Warren, a regular feature of her town hall meetings. Then Warren pointed at her outfit and said, “We need to talk!” Oyen got her photo with Warren and was called back for a second photo a few minutes later. “I guess the staffers wanted a picture,” she said.

Drama aside, Oyen said she is glad she went to hear Warren speak. “People were teary-eyed. She’s their hero. It was really inspiring.” The experience solidified her support for the candidate, she said. Though she might think twice before slipping on that blue blazer again.


Fourth "Matrix" Movie, Keanu Reeves And Carrie-Anne Moss Will Star

Sixteen years since the last Matrix film, Warner Bros. announced Tuesday that Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss will reprise their iconic roles as Neo and Trinity in a fourth installment of the series. Co-creator Lana Wachowski is set to write, direct, and produce the upcoming sequel.

“We could not be more excited to be re-entering The Matrix with Lana,” said Toby Emmerich, chairman of Warner Bros, in a press release, calling Wachowski “a true visionary—a singular and original creative filmmaker.”


We are going with the Indian Senator who respects the sovereignty of native people.

The Pechanga Band are in my neck of the woods, so I'm particularly happy to see this.

Waiting for others to endorse Warren, as well, after her fantastic speech yesterday.


When Women Are Accused of Complicity

To watch The Handmaid’s Tale this week, or Showtime’s The Loudest Voice—in which Russell Crowe’s Roger Ailes was seemingly enabled in his alleged sexual harassment and abuse by his assistant Judy Laterza—was to see echoes of a recurring theme that keeps playing out in the news cycle. Laterza, according to accounts by the journalist Gabriel Sherman, approached pretty young interns and invited them to meet her boss. Maxwell allegedly functioned as a madam for Epstein, finding him a steady flow of girls. Harvey Weinstein was reportedly able to compel actresses to attend meetings in his hotel room because he had female assistants take them upstairs.

No system of female oppression can function, it seems, without women being complicit in it.

The 2016 election, in which 53 percent of white women opted to vote for a man who has bragged about assaulting women, showed that many women will prioritize their assumed economic security over the well-being of others. On the simplest level, money and power can act as powerful motivators. Before Maxwell met Epstein, she’d suffered a decline in her own fortunes when her father, the media tycoon Robert Maxwell, drowned in 1991 after falling from his yacht, Lady Ghislaine, off the coast of the Canary Islands. After his death, it emerged that Maxwell had plundered hundreds of millions of pounds from his company’s pension funds. His daughter was left with nothing but a personal trust granting her £80,000 a year. She fled to New York, leaving 32,000 of her father’s employees to deal with the emptying out he’d done of their retirement accounts.

Maxwell’s indefinable relationship with Epstein seemed to restore her financial and social capital—he apparently bought her a 7,000-square-foot townhouse on the Upper East Side, while his wealth renewed her access to socialites, playboys, and princes. But Epstein also seems to have had a hold on Maxwell that transcended status. She believed, according to reports in Vanity Fair, that if she did enough to please him, he would marry her. Maxwell allegedly had intimate knowledge of Epstein’s predilections for girls and young women, and yet she appears to have hero-worshipped him anyway. She saw the girls she recruited for him, according to Vanity Fair, not as vulnerable teenagers, but as inconvenient obstacles to her ultimate goal, describing them as “nothing” and “trash.”

The truth is that, in the end, such purported betrayal of other women’s trust seems to have its cost. Laterza lost her $2-million-a-year salary after Ailes was fired, and for her years of loyal service, he left her the relatively paltry sum of $30,000 in his will, from an estate totaling more than $100 million. Maxwell is the target of a new lawsuit accusing her of enabling Epstein’s abuse.


Toni Morrison and What Our Mothers Couldn't Say

Luckily for me, my mom had me, her first child at 18 and was not worn out as the author says of her mom. "We grew up together," my mom said to me throughout her life. We grew up as girlfriends. But the delineation of who was mother was present - she made sure of that early on And that's the impression Prof. Morrison always conveyed to me. This good piece devoted to Ms. Morrison and who I think are Morrison Moms, whether aunties or just women who just happen upon us, the descriptive fortunate doesn't even come close to the bold and fiercely loving mothers who we have in our lives.

My mourning mind, compromised and searching for coincidence, processes the age Toni Morrison was when she died, eighty-eight, as two infinity signs, straightened and snatched right-side up. If we are Morrison-fearing, as some others are with their icons, well, we were socialized by her novels. What an experience, to be mothered on one plane by our Beloved. It’s a plane that occupies the thorny reserve of memory. One thing about being a black girl is, by the time you come around, and your body awakens to feeling historically out of sorts, the matriarchs have been worn out. Their patience to “do language” has dried up. You have been born late to the mystery. Catch up, but how? Morrison motioned to us and got us up to date.

For years, it went on like this: I would become withdrawn, and my mother would hand me “Sula,” then “Jazz,” then “Beloved.” My early readings of the novels were hungry misuses. Her novels were the boundary between herself and her readers, an instrument of intellectual self-protection, but we violated the boundary, almost deliriously. By the time I was reading Morrison, the novel had allegedly lost its status as an influential factor in the making of society. We didn’t know that. Morrison was our celebrity; it was only right that she appear on “Oprah.” We were poor in imagination, trained to think of our histories as sociological math. Morrison invalidated the lie, which taints black minds especially, that our people are either one way or the other. To her, we were naturally literary and epic. I got inebriated on the image of Pecola Breedlove, who “was a long time with the milk,” soused by a community’s predilection for a certain kind of beauty. The ghost in “Beloved,” swelling as she threatened to overcome the spiteful home at 124 Bluestone Road, made us think gothically. I wanted to build a retreat in the woods, like Denver. I thought that I was destined, one day, to become a Sula Peace, leaving home, and returning under the shelter of a great hat, carting havoc just under my breast.

In a foreword to “Sula,” Morrison wrote, “Outlaw women are fascinating—not always for their behavior, but because historically women are seen as naturally disruptive and their status is an illegal one from birth if it is not under the rule of men.” It is too seldom acknowledged that the greatest novelist this country has ever produced was a single black mother. She had two sons, one who passed before she did, and how many daughters? We know that it is problematic, or maybe just self-indulgent, to claim her as mother. And yet, if the business of mothering is to broker the link between two generations, then what else can she be?


The Lily White Movement.

In the 1890's, the Republican Party of Virginia faced considerable challenges.

The Walton Act helped to keep political control in the hands of the Democratic party, by discouraging many Republican and African American voters from visiting the polls. Democrats also tried to alienate Republicans from white voters by stigmatizing them as the "party of the Negro." On November 9, 1898, The Daily Progress commented on the effects of Virginia's one-party system on the 1898 election results, in "A Quiet Day Everywhere and a Small Vote." The election was marked by voter apathy.

In an attempt to regain voter support, the Republican party urged local voters to form campaigning clubs in their ward or precinct. Despite continual African-American support, the Republican party increased efforts to recover white votes through a "lily white" movement. The Republican party proclaimed that it was a white man's party and had no room to accommodate African Americans. In "WILL IT WORK," published August 13, 1900, The Daily Progress questioned the feasibility and fairness of excluding African Americans from the Republican Party.

The African-American Republican leaders felt the full effects of the "lily white" movement when they, along with their delegation, were barred from the Republican Congressional Convention held at Luray in July, 1922. Charlottesville sent two delegations to this convention. One, led by R.N. Flannagan (President of the Henry Anderson Independent Club), was all white. The other, led by City Chairman L.W. Cox, included four African Americans. The convention decided to dismiss the Cox delegation and seat the "lily-white" faction of Charlottesville's Republicans.

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